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South Lakeland welcomes refugees

2 December 2016

We have welcomed proposals to re-settle 285 refugees across Cumbria.

The refugees, mostly from Syria, will include vulnerable children and family members fleeing war and destruction. The county will accept 95 people a year for the next three years.

We have agreed to help house 10 people a year over the same period following a commitment made by the Cumbria Leaders’ Board and the refugees are expected to start arriving in April 2017.

When the Government first asked for support Cumbria was one of the first areas to offer assistance. Work was started to help the refugees in December 2015 but this was delayed because of the devastation caused by Storm Desmond and the need to house those affected by flooding.

Our Leader Cllr Giles Archibald said: “I am delighted that Cumbria’s local authorities have worked together to make this possible. I am sure the people of South Lakeland will extend a warm welcome to help these families when they arrive.

“Following the floods our priority was, quite rightly, to attend to the immediate needs of our own residents. Now we are in a position to do our bit to help the refugee crisis. I am sure our district will do its best to help these people in their desperate time of need.”

The United Nations estimate that 1.5 million refugees have fled the Syrian region. The UK is aiming to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.

Those coming to the UK will come from established camps and will be matched with areas which are most suitable for them.

The aim of the resettlement programme is to support the families to help them integrate into local communities and become independent.